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HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Vow to handle with care

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Vow to handle with care

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THE MAN OVERSEEING the restoration of a historic block in The City has said that the greatest care will be taken with all the buildings involved.

Project manager Joe Steinbok, of Steinbok Management Services Ltd, said nothing would be demolished in the block which included the Jewish Synagogue, historic Jewish shops and the island’s first fire station.

“Every day when you’re doing a restoration, there are new challenges that you have to adapt because you have to treat everything with respect,” he told Heather-Lynn’s Habitat as he oversaw the demolition of the old Barbados Telephone Exchange building a few weeks ago. Steinbok said the restoration was extremely complicated.

“And we’re taking extreme precaution to make sure that we don’t cause or inflict any further damage, but there is some stuff that looks like it’s good but we’re having to take it down to make it secure.”

As he pointed to the corner of the building that once housed Jewish shops on Synagogue Lane, Steinbok said: “This looks really good but we have a crack in the corner so the building structurally is not. So we have to take this down, fix it and then rebuild it, so you may see some demolition of stuff but it will be restored to what it was.

“But it is being done only when there are structural problems. It’s not just being done willy nilly,” he said.

Steinbok also revealed that in addition to the Jewish graves which were initially discovered last December, others had since been found. When the redeveloped area with its restored buildings are unveiled in time for the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence, it will include the restoration of the first fire station, “a park for cars”, a green area with a memorial to Cod’s House and the renovation of the workshops – the four shops with those iconic eight doors – which were built by members of the Jewish community in the 1840s.

The restoration is being financed by a benefactor who is pumping $10 million into the project.